Football / Sports

COLUMN: Football report card week 12

Going into Saturday’s football game, the story was whether the Central Michigan Chippewas or the Miami (OH) RedHawks would keep their bowl game hopes alive.

As it turns out, it was CMU that emerged with the 30-16 victory to improve its record to 5-6. The Chippewas can become bowl-eligible and reach the .500 mark for the first time under head coach Dan Enos with a win at Massachusetts Friday.

But first, let’s evaluate CMU’s performance against the RedHawks.

Passing Offense: (C) In his last game at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff did not have one of his better games. He finished 13 of 23 for 202 yards, throwing one touchdown and one interception. Radcliff completed one pass in the first quarter and had just six completions at halftime. Redshirt freshman Andrew Flory caught two of his passes for 62 yards.

Rushing Offense: (A) It’s starting to not be a story when Zurlon Tipton gets more than 100 yards on the ground. The junior running back did just that for the fifth-straight game on Saturday, rushing for 113 yards and two touchdowns against the RedHawks. The bigger surprise was the play of true freshman Saylor Lavallii, who scored his first-career touchdown and gained 68 yards on eight carries.

Passing Defense: (C) Miami came into the game as the Mid-American Conference’s second-ranked passing team. CMU did give up 360 yards passing to senior quarterback Zac Dysert, including a 68-yard bomb in which junior wide receiver Nick Harwell escaped the secondary for a touchdown. Harwell finished the game with 11 catches for 215 yards and a touchdown. Senior safety Jahleel Addae did intercept Dysert once, and CMU recorded five sacks.

Rushing Defense: (A) Miami ranked dead-last in the MAC in rushing before Saturday’s game, and that trend continued against the Chippewas. CMU allowed just 74 yards on the ground. Freshman running back Jamire Westbrook gained just 41 yards on 12 carries.

Special Teams: (B) Special teams didn’t play a huge role against the RedHawks. Senior kicker David Harman didn’t attempt a field goal. Junior punter Richie Hogan averaged 43.3 yards per punt and pinned Miami inside its own 20-yard line three times. CMU didn’t gain many yards in the return game either.

Overall: (B) The win over the RedHawks means nothing if CMU doesn’t take care of business against Massachusetts Friday, but the performance was one of the most consistent by CMU this season. The defense was able to get consistent pressure on the quarterback for the first time all season, and Radcliff and the offense did enough to get the win. A .500 season would go a long way for the Chippewas.

2 Comments

  1. 7,000 people in Kelly/Shorts Stadium? That tells you how UNACCEPTABLE a .500 season is to CMU alums and students. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a smaller crowd in the history of Kelly/Shorts Stadium. That has to be a record low. Thank you, Mr. Heeke, and Mr. Enos. Oh, and let’s not leave out Mr. Ross’ famous quote: “…for those who might not quite believe, I have two words for you: Detroit Lions. It’s coming.” You’re going to see less than 7,000 if Enos is retained!

  2. Western fired Bill Cubit, who accomplished far more than Dan Enos ever will. Cubit took over a horrid program and made it better. The Broncos went to the Motor City Bowl last year. Enos took over the best program in the MAC and drove it into the ground. Enos had a cupcake schedule this year – three of the four worst teams in the MAC East, an FCS team, one of the worst Big 10 teams and Navy, which lost to Troy. Once again, the Chips got blown out by all the better MAC teams.
    Programs at Ohio U, Toledo and Northern Illinois have remained strong. Kent State, Bowling Green and Ball State have improved dramatically. Western won’t settle for mediocrity; why should Central?

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